Often companies start out on the social web on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, because it’s cool. Or a consultant of an advertising agency told them “You have to be on Facebook nowadays – it’s the best place to get your messages across.” This leads to advertising and selling orientated behavior, which is an absolute No-Go on the social web – no one wants to be sold. But, how can we avoid using wrong strategies on the social net?
Map the terrain! Identify the places and spaces!
The first step into social strategy development and engagement is listening and assessing the social ecosystem. We need to know where our customers are, before we define how to get in touch with them. It is important to understand what our customers really care about, before we tell them what our solutions may be. Before we try to grow our brand recognition, we need to understand our brand perception. And, we need to know what our partners and competitors do on the net.
Corporate social media assessment is best done by following a proven concept like the “Four Quadrant Assessment Model”, developed by Society3. The assessment helps to understand the level of SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT of the audited company. The assessment concentrates on people and engagement and is not just a SEO data graveyard – not statistical data from the past showing where people visit. The socio-economic landscape of the following four quadrants need to be assessed:
- Customers, Prospects
- Brand (your company, your teams, your brand)
- Partners (our alliances, distribution partners, resellers)
- Competitors (our competitors, their partners and their customers)
I don’t usually concentrate much on competitors, because customers and partners are more important to me, but for sure there are business lines, where competitor orientation is crucial as well. Businesses who sell directly to their customers will of course not do a deep partner analysis. The model can be modified to individual situations, whether it is in B2C or B2B businesses.
In my next blog posts I will go into detailed descriptions of the four assessment quadrants.